Texas group asks DAs to stop using scent IDs

8 years ago Comments Off on Texas group asks DAs to stop using scent IDs

(AP) – A group that works to free the wrongly convicted on Monday asked Texas prosecutors and the state commission that investigates forensic misconduct allegations to ban the use of scent identification lineups, saying the technique is junk science that has led to several false arrests.

During a news conference, the group released a report claiming there have been at least four cases in which five innocent people were arrested following scent ID lineups conducted by a Fort Bend sheriff’s deputy, Keith Pikett, who trains dogs. Two of the individuals were jailed for capital murder before the charges were dropped.

In the scent identification lineups in question, dogs trained by Pikett determine if a suspect’s smell matches the smell of crime scene evidence.

Chairman Sam Bassett said someone would need to first file a complaint with the commission before it could look at the issue and determine if there was negligence or misconduct in the application of forensic science. The commission was created by the Legislature in 2005.

A spokesperson for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association could not immediately be reached for comment.